Dinner Factory, St. Albert

While on the Easter egg hunt from Kerstin’s Chocolates, I ended up buying a meal from a meal assembly store in St. Albert called Dinner Factory.

I didn’t want to buy a whole bunch of meals without having tried any of their food before, so I was happy when they said it would be no problem if I were to just make one dish. All assembly tools (bowls, measuring cups, food processors, etc.) are laid out next to each station, all the ingredients are pre-chopped and laid out, and assembly instructions are provided. Each station = one recipe. Each entrée generally will make 4-6 servings. Menus change monthly.

All-in-all, it probably took me about 20 minutes for a quick tour of the assembly area, the assembly of my meal, and payment.

And what did I pick for my meal? Well I couldn’t pick just any old thing (although quite a few of the menu items sounded interesting).

Slice of Italian meatloaf with alpaca

Slice of Italian meatloaf with alpaca

Yes, that’s right. I bought alpaca. (Specifically, alpaca from Morinville’s Belle Valley Farms.)

The ground alpaca meat was mixed with panko breadcrumbs, onions and milk, and then rolled around a mix of spinach, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes, making a large Italian-style meatloaf.

Italian meatloaf with alpaca (unsliced)

Italian meatloaf with alpaca (unsliced)

The recipe was very tasty and my kitchen filled with wonderful scents as it cooked in the oven. Served with brown rice that came with the meal and a salad, it made for a lovely dinner.

As for the alpaca itself, I found it to be an interesting new experience. If you find bison to be gamey and are looking for a lower calorie, cholesterol and fat alternative to beef, you should definitely think about using alpaca. The meat tasted very close to ground beef, but with a slightly sweeter tang.

Now I just have to clear some freezer space so that I can go back and make more Dinner Factory meals.

Dinner Factory
#111, 1 Hebert Road (just off of St. Albert Road)
St. Albert, AB
www.dinnerfactory.ca

Famoso, Edmonton

Famoso sign

Famoso sign

I have finally sampled pizza nirvana (or at least as close as you can come when you are in Edmonton).

A group of friends and I trekked over to the south-side Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria for a get together on Saturday. Greedily, we decided to order one different pizza each – that way we could try many kinds and share slices. It was a little bit too much pizza to eat (many of us took home leftovers), but we were happy to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of good eating. They were all excellent pizzas, but I admit I did have a couple of particular favourites.

Famoso’s pizza uses highly refined, low-gluten flour imported from Italy. This means a thin, crispy and light crust. No greasiness here – just the light taste of olive oil and fresh ingredients. Pizzas come with 2 sauces depending on which pizza you order; the pizza rossa (red), which consists of San Marzano tomato sauce made of crushed tomatoes and basil leaf, and the pizza bianca (white), made with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and oregano pizza sauce. Also, while many of the pizzas contained cheese, the amount of cheese on the pizza is a lot less than what you find on North American pizzas. I love cheese, and I was surprised at how little I missed having so much of it on a pizza slice.

Pizza #1 – Margherita – fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil, with added extra toppings of olives, onions and roasted mushrooms. Was yummy but had a few too many olives for my taste.

Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza

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